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~ Bagel-Bites Mini-Bagel Sausage & Mushroom Pizza~

IMG_5082While no one agrees on who made or sold the first pizza bagel, in 1985, Stanley Garcaynski and Bob Mosher invented Bagel Bites using custom-made mini-bagels.  They adapted the recipe from the back of a package of Lender's bagels, and that little schtick made these two a lot of money really fast.  They began by marketing their edible pub-grub invention to local restaurants, bars and hotels, and, after almost instant success, within six short years, they sold the company and brand name "Bagel Bites" to Heinz (owner of Ore-Ida) in 1991.  The American dream come true.

The 90s -- they were the decade of Bagel Bites, aka mini-bagel frozen pizzas.  They got served at all sorts of gatherings , but mostly, they were the trendy after school snack of teens of the era. For the most part, I emerged from this frozen-convenience-food-frenzy unscathed: I escaped the worst of it -- my kids were in their 20s by 1996.  That said,  I remember these freezer-to-toaster-oven treats for one reason: the uber-annoying theme song of the Bagel Bites commercials:

"Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime.  When pizza is on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime!".

6a0120a8551282970b02788072ff4d200dBagel Bites were/are not rocket science food.  They begin on a split mini-bagel. The halves get topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and sometimes, another topping or two -- pepperoni was what most kids liked best, but, my kids liked the sausage-topped Bagel Bites MORE. Straight from the box, they got placed (while till frozen) on a small baking sheet, then got baked in the toaster oven (a manageable task for 10-14 year olds) until molten hot -- kids gobbled them up faster than mothers could buy them.  And, as any mother who knew how to cook will tell you, back then, we could not purchase mini-bagels anywhere or we happily would have made mini-bagel pizzas in our own kitchens -- we knew we could have made them MUCH better, and twice as many, for a third the price, with our hands tied behind our apronless backs. Why not just make them on standard-sized bagel?  Simply stated:  they're not as much fun.

No fancy high-end ingredients -- keep 'em simple & enjoy:

IMG_5070Mini-bagels & fully-cooked sausage = kid-approved bagel bites:

IMG_4975mini bagels, your favorite brand

pizza sauce, your favorite brand

fine-grated Parmesan cheese, the "stuff" in shaker-jar, your favorite brand

pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, your favorite brand*

fully-cooked sausage patties, diced, your favorite brand

canned mushroom pieces, well-drained and chopped

small-diced onion (optional)

IMG_4984* Tip from Mel prior to starting:  Pre-shredded mozzarella cheese is one of my favorite time-saving  ingredients.  That said, when scattering it "as is" onto mini-bagels (or small-sized anything else), its size is rather large in comparison to the subject at hand.  For that reason, I like to use a serrated knife and a light touch to briefly saw through it, to make the pieces smaller.  In turn, you get more cheese on each piece and less waste, aka, the cheese stays on top of bagels rather than dripping down their sides, which makes a pretty presentation.

IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033 IMG_5033~Step 1.  Prep the sausage patties, canned mushrooms and onion as directed.  Depending on how many bagel bites you want to make, on an appropriately-sized baking sheet, arrange the split mini-bagel halves side-by-side.  Spread about 1 tablespoon pizza sauce evenly across the surface of each bagel half -- do not be inclined to use too much sauce or the bagels will get soggy.  Lightly-sprinkle the surface of all the bagels with the Parmesan -- simply shake the can over the entire pan.  Next, on goes a scattering of 1 1/2-2 tablespoons mozzarella per bagel half. Add the toppings:  a scattering of the optional onions, chopped mushrooms and diced sausage.

Bake in 375° oven 8-10 minutes & serve immediately:  

IMG_5059Bagel Bites Mini-Bagel Sausage & Mushroom Pizza:  Recipe yields instructions to make as many bagel bites as you want to make.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; serrated bread knife; appropriately-sized baking sheet (toaster-oven or conventional-oven sized; tablespoon

6a0120a8551282970b02942fa0c629200cCook's Note: The pita pocket is a great foil for quick-to-make snack pizza too. These take less than 10 minutes to assemble and everyone just loves my ~ Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza:  My Personal Favorite Snack Pizza ~.  Give 'em a try!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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